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Showing posts from December, 2012

Agri Dept. to Raise Bicol Output for Nat'l Rice Production

The Department of Agriculture on Wednesday said it is focusing on the Bicol region to make a significant contribution to national rice production by putting in place organic farming that capitalizes on drought-tolerant varieties. The region's upland rice varieties are being developed for the market because of their potential for higher grain output and tolerance to drought — vital traits amid the threats from climate change. These include the cultivars Palawan, Gayang-gang white, and Kinaraba. Upland rice varieties have an average yield of 1 to 2 metric tons per hectare, but selected Bicol varieties have exceeded the yield average, according to the Agriculture Department. The region used to account for 20 percent of national rice output. Citing an International Rice Research Institute report, the Bureau of Agricultural Research noted that 63,699 hectares of upland areas in Bicol were devoted to rice production in the 1960s. The numbers dropped to 53,480 in the 1970s.�…

SEAFDEC Opens Gates to Mud Crab Domestication

TIGBAUAN, Iloilo – The complete life cycle of the mud crab is now documented, opening the gates for its domestication. That’s big time: next to China, the Philippines is the world’s second largest mud crab producer; it harvested 14,437 metric tons of mud crabs from aquaculture in 2010. “The study on the domestication of mud crab is the first ever reported in the Indo-west Pacific region,” said Dr. Emilia T. Quinitio, Scientist and Head of the Technology Verification and Demonstration Division of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center’s Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD). “The initial results would serve as guide to understand and eliminate the barriers to mud crab domestication.” “The breeding technology will support the production of good-quality seedstock for farming and eventually lessen the dependence on wild stock,” she said in an interview. “Genetic selection for desirable traits focusing on fast growth and better reproductive performance will be done while ma…

Boom in Philippines Cruise Tourism

The Philippines is getting a share of cruise passenger traffic, largely due to the global interest in Southeast Asia as the newest cruise destination. The Department of Tourism (DOT) is bullish on cruise tourism, as visiting international cruise liners contribute significantly to foreign tourist arrivals. The latest to make its inaugural call at Philippine ports on October 26-27, 2012, was the Florida-based Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas, with 2,500 tourists onboard the vessel. The cruise tourists toured Manila’s famous spots and explored the white powdery beaches of Boracay island.


Cruise lines that regularly stop in Manila as part of their tour package include the P&O Cruises’ Oriana, Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Silversea’s Silver Spirit, and Swan Hellenic’s MV Minerva. More cruise ships are scheduled to make Philippine port calls in 2013. Part of government’s cruise tourism roadmap is to create tour packages showcasing magnificent attractions and amenities under “It’s Mor…

DOT, DENR & WBCP to Host the 8th Philippines Bird Festival

The Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) will jointly host the celebration of the 8th Philippine Bird Festival on December 7 to 8, 2012 in the City of Manila. With this year’s theme of “Birdwatching. More Fun in the Philippines”, the annual event is considered to be the country’s largest celebration of avifaunal diversity and bird lore awareness. The festival aims to promote birdwatching as a nature tourism activity and drum up support for conservation and restoration of Metro Manila’s remaining wetlands in the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), a 175-hectare protected habitat just off the Coastal Road leading to Cavite. To be held at the Teodoro F. Valencia Circle in Rizal Park, the event is open to the public free-of-charge. It will feature an exhibit of bird photos, displays on the biodiversity of Manila Bay, films and lectures, bird watching trips, and…

Duty Free Philippines Opens Store in Legazpi

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 30 (PNA) – Duty Free Philippines (DFP), a corporation accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT)opened its branch here recently.


Maria Ong-Ravanilla, Bicol’s DOT regional director said DFP’s opened its branch in the city to provide the shopping needs of international travelers with an efficient service and convenient environment and to showcase the Bicolano traits of warmth and hospitality.

The store was part of the DOT program to enhance tourism service facilities in Legaspi which is fast growing as Bicol’s main tourist destination, Ravanilla said.

"As a world-class retailer of international commodities, DFP carries out the task of supporting the development of the country’s tourism industry," she added.

Housed at the second floor of Embarcadero de Legazpi, the posh lifestyle hub and tourist-oriented commercial and entertainment center sitting on a sprawling waterfront complex, the duty-free shop was the first to be put up in Bicol.(PNA) GHG/DOC/CB…